per·​son·​i·​fy | \pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī \
personified; personifying

Definition of personify 

transitive verb

1 : to conceive of or represent as a person or as having human qualities or powers

2 : to be the embodiment or personification of : incarnate a teacher who personified patience

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Other Words from personify

personifier \ pər-​ˈsä-​nə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

Examples of personify in a Sentence

The ancient Greeks personified the forces of nature as gods and goddesses. Justice is personified as a woman with her eyes covered.

Recent Examples on the Web

Dads, meanwhile, are easier to define, as simply harmless and corny — as basically dad jokes personified. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Toward a taxonomy of men online," 14 Aug. 2018 Michael personified the qualities of the greatest generation., "Michael Popovich," 24 June 2018 Lee Raymond, Exxon’s boss from 1993 to 2005, personified the swagger at the heart of the company’s ethos. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Exxon, Once a ‘Perfect Machine,’ Is Running Dry," 13 July 2018 But nobody personified the whole performance like Green, who finished with an understated nine points and four assists. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Devonte Green has been earning Archie Miller's trust. Monday, IU guard showed why.," 5 Feb. 2018 Image Stretching across 800 square miles of bucolic hills, Britain’s Cotswolds region includes countless charming villages in five counties that personify the enduring appeal of the English countryside. New York Times, "36 Hours in the Cotswolds," 17 May 2018 At least one person in the Obama administration clapped back on the fact that ole hypocrisy personified seemed to have no problem with Air Force One these days. Angela Helm, The Root, "After Trolling Obama for Wasting Money, Trump’s Air Force One Refrigerators Upgraded for a Cool $24,000,000," 27 Jan. 2018 That relationship — personified by the close bonds of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s and Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s — is being tested as never before. New York Times, "Big Protests Greet Trump’s Visit to Britain," 12 July 2018 Ferocity personified: Tkay Maidza, an Australian 21-year-old with a ton of promise, gets a shimmering production from Hoodboi and bodies it with an uncomplicated flow that eventually pivots into breathy singing. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, "20 Great Pop Songs From 2018's First Half You Might Have Missed," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of personify

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for personify

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for personify

The first known use of personify was in 1728

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More Definitions for personify



English Language Learners Definition of personify

: to have a lot of (a particular quality) : to be the perfect example of a person who has (a quality)

: to think of or represent (a thing or idea) as a person or as having human qualities or powers


per·​son·​i·​fy | \pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī \
personified; personifying

Kids Definition of personify

: to think of or represent as a person The hero is bravery personified.

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Comments on personify

What made you want to look up personify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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